Experienced Bay Area Family Law attorneys will tell clients that after they decide to file for divorce, you cannot change the beneficiary on your life insurance, retirement, or annuities until after the divorce is final unless you have consent from your soon to be ex spouse. But what happens when someone does not follow these rules?
In one case a deceased spouse violated the divorce process rules by changing the beneficiary of his community property IRA (which has a balance of $2 million) from the other spouse client to the parties' minor children in trust.
In order to recover the funds, the family law case was put on hold and instead the case was transferred to the Probate department to resolve the dispute between the Trust of the minor children and the spouse who thought she was going to receive the funds.
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